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21 arrests from Ellenville drug trafficking raid

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A well-coordinated raid was executed in Ellenville. Almost two dozen people were arrested on drug charges. YNN's Elaina Athans has more the Friday morning roundup.

ELLENVILLE, N.Y. -- 21 people were rounded up and arrested in a drug trafficking raid in the Ellenville area. 4 a.m. Friday, authorities armed with indictments started making arrests in a sting that surprised Ellenville's Police Chief Phil Mattracion.

"In my 26 years of law enforcement, I can say to all of you that this is the first time that I've had a drug sweep where we’ve gotten very single target that was on the roster to be picked up and arrested," said Mattracion.

Cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and a plethora of prescription pills were taken in the raid. Police say a couple of the individuals were selling the drugs right outside of the village schools.

“These individuals have been selling poison for a long time and now that they are in jail, they will be held accountable," said Jerry Van Loan from the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office.

All of the defendants are being held at the Ulster County Jail. Police say they don't know yet exactly how much drugs were found. At one house, though, they took 300 decks of heroin and two-and-a-half ounces of crack cocaine.

60 officers from multiple agencies, including the United States Marshals Office, teamed up for the effort.

"In a small community with extremely limited funds, we rely very heavily on the inter-agency cooperation and the Chief (Mattracion) has brought that home time and time again," said Ellenville Village Manager Mary Sheeley.

The raid ends a year long investigation in the village and neighboring Town of Wawarsing. Police say among those taken into custody were two known gang members.

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